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Another downtown-event controversy?

Another Downtown Waynesboro event involving the proposed closure of Main Street is on the agenda for tonight’s Waynesboro City Council meeting, and City Manager Mike Hamp is thinking some clear policy direction from City Council would be helpful.
“Given the concerns and objections voiced recently about the impact of street closures on downtown businesses, I would recommend that at some point in the near future staff and City Council undertake a review and discussion of downtown events to establish a statement of policy or guidelines for considering and conducting events in the downtown,” Hamp wrote in a memo to City Council members regarding the matter of the requested closure of Main Street for the fourth annual Main Street Muscle Car Show on Saturday, May 16.

The event is expected to draw an estimated 4,000 people downtown for the day, but it is not likely to go quietly into the night at tonight’s City Council meeting after the recent brouhaha over an April 26 bike race downtown.

Vice Mayor Frank Lucente led a move that effectively held up approval for street closures needed to make the Waynesboro Omnium race possible at the behest of a downtown business owner, Bill Mikolay, who has made no secret of his disdain for downtown events that he has said interferes with his business at Main Street Discount.

The city was able to work out an arrangement with Mikolay that accommodates his wishes to have a portion of Main Street up to his store open on race day that was approved by City Council last week.

The Muscle Car Show is a feature event that has classic cars and trucks parked up and down Main Street and also involves the closure of Wayne Avenue in the downtown area.

Hamp did in his memo recommend approval of the street-closure request related to the Muscle Car Show.

“As the mix of businesses evolves, it is appropriate to evaluate the City Council’s position regarding downtown events with particular attention to street closures,” Hamp wrote in the memo. “Establishing a policy, guidelines and perhaps goals and objectives for events will assist staff in developing, reviewing and coordinating events downtown,” Hamp wrote.


Story by Chris Graham

Augusta Health Augusta Free Press Kris McMackin CPA
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